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Vernal Fall is a large waterfall on the Merced River just downstream of Nevada Fall in Yosemite National Park, USA.
It is 317 feet (97 m) high. It is accessible via the Mist Trail, which climbs close enough to the fall so that hikers must travel through the fall's mist. It is also clearly visible from Glacier Point.
The waterfall runs all year long, although by the end of summer, it is substantially reduced in volume and can split into multiple falls.
The original name of the fall was Yan-o-pah ("little cloud") The fall was named "Vernal" by Lafayette Bunnell, a member of the Mariposa Brigade in 1851. Apparently, the fall reminded Bunnell of springtime.
Hikers will start at the trailhead in Yosemite Valley. This is one of the shortest (1.3 Miles) and most popular trails in Yosemite. The trail is mostly shaded and is progressive in incline until you reach the base of the waterfall where mist sprays onto the hikers. Depending on the time of the year hikers can be totally drenched by the time they pass the mist from the waterfall. The final 15 minutes of the trail is a very steep climb up rocks to the top of the waterfall. Once atop the falls there is a pool of stagnate water that allows many people to swim and lounge. Again, depending on the time of the year this pool will have a stronger current and may be deeper. There is also a 20 degree slope of rock with flowing water that allows people to slide into the pool (if current is too strong this is not safe).
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